Plights of our fathers, now with the sons

International students often times when in host countries learn much more than academic studies, especially the ones not included in the brochures.

Rachel and I have quite a few things in common, to begin with we were both from Africa and have a thing or two to say about injustice system in our individual countries so we were always grateful to be in a country where for the most part justice reigns.

Sometimes in early 2000, there was a shooting at Seattle University District in which a police officer killed an unarmed young black male. It was all over the news, lots of people were furious.

At lunch next day, I shared my thoughts with Rachel about the shootings and how I could not believe a cop had to shoot eight times because he had to protect himself from an unarmed member of the public. Rachel response was that we don’t know much about African American history so not to get into it.

I agreed with Rachel however, my point was that no one needed to shoot eight times perforating the stomach and chest with bullets just to be sure the other person didn’t have a gun.

Prior to this day, I had spent 3 terms listening to the horrible deeds of President Mugabe toward white Zimbabweans. Rachel’s family was chased out of their farms, the family had to leave all that they owned and relocated to Scotland – I felt for Rachel. The talks about President Mugabe became our conversation starters whenever we met – I agreed then and even now that the old man is hurting everyone including the blacks he proclaimed to be protecting.

So if I could see your points regarding Mugabe narrow-minded attitude, how hard is it for you to show the same sympathy towards the killing of this young guy? Don’t you see that I could get killed that same way if I happened to be a male?

It is okay and even expected that I voice my opinion against President Mugabe that I don’t know and very unlikely to ever meet but I don’t know African-American history well enough to think killing an unarmed civilian less than a mile from where I lived is irresponsible and demanded justice?

Hatred is powerful and perceived hatred is even more so.

I woke up yesterday morning to the video clip of Mike Brown Killer – Darren Wilson. Watching Officer Darren Wilson admitted to have shot Mike in the head just brought back memory of years ago. What happened to other parts of the body, the wrist, foot, anywhere else that wouldn’t mean immediate end to his life?

Rachel still lives in the US today, she must have seen enough of shoot-to-kill of young black males in the last decade, hopefully, she would remember the talk we had that day.

We all need to see the bigger picture to end racism.

Condolences to Mike’s family and friends.



Categories: Education

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23 replies

  1. What is there to say but worry that back home, we are unfortunately no better than our tormentors away from home…

    “Tomorrow’s sunsets come inevitably,
    Carrying vague identity’s loyalties happily.
    Nursing dreams of his (our) father’s riches;
    Their (we) bastard made wills of wishes.”

    Racism & segregation makes us appear like we have no history & with no ancestors we have learned from. It makes us look like bastards with no parents or heritage to point back at, with no lessons we have learned from them or it, respectively.

    We appear to be writing out Wills filled with wishes for our own descendants, yet again.

    So so sad.

    Thanks for this FO

    Liked by 1 person

    • What can I say my brother, thank you!

      Love this so much ‘Nursing dreams of his (our) father’s riches;’ – this is what I am trying to get the ‘stiff necks’ of my people to see, how are we any better if we insist on the unfortunate dreams of our fathers and in most cases it is the manipulative of others that people tend to hold on to while the dreams that celebrate our commonness get pushed aside.

      Na go de!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like this discourse but this got me thinking Mr. WSJ should be able to survive in Nigeria – actually, by Nigeria, I mean Lagos, Abuja & P.Harcourt: ” …I personally felt the spit of a fool who in return felt the sting of the pavement in return – “. With all the fire, how did you survive Reagan’s governorship? Or may be you did not wear afro where guns could be hidden!

    As for Folakemi’s friend, many Africans unfortunately take that angle although those who left Zimbawe are/were either the rich white land-owners – many stayed behind – or Africans who made good under the despot but things fell apart.

    What such Africans miss by “not poking their noses into American matters” and trying to distant themselves from their own flesh and blood is unquantifiable.

    Thanks for this, Folakemi.

    Rgds,
    TOLA.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. WSJ expressed interest in visiting Osogbo Sacred Grove in a previous post, so really expecting him to get packing anytime now – I can tell he will definitely survive anywhere in Nigeria with that high spirit!

      We don’t have many places to hide our intolerance of others just because of the way they looked as we used to, it is in the best interest of humanity to adopt more positive attitude towards others – we’ll keep hoping and praying for more tolerant world.

      Like

  3. I think everyone should be given the chance to travel overseas, away from their hometown, or to another area in order to understand better about themselves, their own country and the world. It may make people more open and perhaps realise that the ways or thoughts of others may actually be better. Some learn better than others. Ignorance is not bliss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s so sad to think that this racism may not be done away with anytime soon. The stories above is pathetic and I wonder if there’s any conscience left in those people. Blacks are victimized all over the world and those that don’t shoot with the gun often use their mouths and any other means within their reach. I heard of a scene where a Finn asked a Somalian woman to go back home and ride on a donkey instead of boarding the metro.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Hope. We can not rid of racism anytime soon however, I do believe that we can systematically work together to unlearn the bad habits – treat people as they present themselves rather than preconceived notion. And the world needs us all now than ever.

      Like

  5. Okay, now that I’ve calmed down (yeah, right) oh my goodness, first off, folakemi your friend Rachel could have easily been killed in Glasgow, Aberdeen or even Edinburgh, so forgetting she now lives (I think) in Seattle and hell yes, she could be killed there as well – yes my sister they shoot female unarmed black folk as well – as back in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe. People who only look on their side of the road and see flowers and light, whilst across the street (using poetic license here) weeds, shadows and ‘niggrahs’ grow are living in that fantasy land of “Oz” obeying that wizard behind the curtain. People who know not of the history of people who share their skin colour; no matter where you may be from, are in reality “doomed” to share their current and future history. Like it or not. You see “Rachel” that cop with the gun pointed at you will not take the time to ask you your ‘nationality’ before pulling the trigger on another threatening nigga, nor does his superiors or ‘fellow citizens’ expect him to so do. Not only is “hatred powerful and perceived” Folakemi, it’s (conscious and unconsciously) ingrained and that Rachel has not a damn thing to do with what you know about “history” or your willingness to ‘get into it’ Here, in California at any rate, people from the continent, people of “colour” are discovering they may speak with a distinct accent and carry themselves in a manner not commonly associated with their native brethren (and hell yes, we are your brothers, my brother) but in the eyes of “John-law” and his ilk in ‘society’ you are no different than that nigga from Georgia, you just talk funny, that’s all. The shots fired those many years ago in Seattle Folakemi along with those shot in Ferguson and St. Louis and Cleveland and Lord knows how many more cities in America, we’re not fired by people with an intimate knowledge of “African-American” history, but by people with just a perception on/of the value of African-American life – female as well as male – and trust me, that ‘value-judgement’ is not held primarily by Americans, just ask the citizens of France of Scotland – where in 2012 I personally felt the spit of a fool who in return felt the sting of the pavement in return – or any place where drunken louts (or idiots regardless of intoxication levels) think/believe you have no place: even in Lagos

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “Rachel response was that we don’t know much about African-American history so not to get into it” say what?!?!?!?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My point exactly – I’d be killed before anyone realises I talked ‘funny’ – very sad and scary! Well, it is only people on the other side of reality that would think being Africans sets aside from African Americans especially when it comes to unfair blanket treatment.

      The truth is as the world gets smaller, we collectively need to unlearn the hatred we were taught otherwise events such as Mike Brown will keep happening. I do believe this is possible but the world needs more leaders with the right mindset.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My good “friend” the honourable Mr. Jonathan (please stop frowning!!) can be just such a leader if Mrs. P would only allow him to ‘grow’ into his leadership shoes! History, however, has taught us that as soon as a “man” becomes the leader we clamour for, his ‘advisors’ always instruct him that it’s not really in his ‘best interest’ hence the debacle that has become of the presidency of Barack Obama. Pity that, pity indeed

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am not only frowning but can feel ‘fire’ in the pit of my stomach. Madam P is not grown, how is she going to allow GEJ what she herself is not capable of?

          Pity if that is the feeling across the board re Obama

          Liked by 1 person

          • You know, that is a good point re Mrs P, the more I read about her – and yes, I admit I have been reading a bunch about her lately – the more childish in her behaviour/actions she appears to be, especially when she returns (all bow to the returning ‘queen’) home village/state, what a trip this ‘lady’ seems to be! Pity, in that case, is also extended to Goodluck!

            Like

  7. I agree with every point you make, Folakemi.

    Liked by 1 person

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